British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue

News

2018-02-23 15:18:02

Successful dolphin refloat in Cornwall

Early on morning of Thursday February 22nd, BDMLR received a call about a dolphin that was struggling in the shallows at Mylor Bridge in Cornwall.  Volunteers were called and very soon a team was on the beach to tend to the animal, a male common dolphin about 2.2 metres long.

Having picked it up on a tarpaulin, BDMLR undertook an initial assessment and then had the animal assessed by a vet, who confirmed it was fit for refloating. As Mylor Bridge was not the ideal place for refloatation as there was a chance the dolphin would strand trying to find its way out of the estuary, the decision was taken to move it to a better release area.  Ensuring that it was not overly stressed, the dolphin was loaded into the back of an estate car and carefully driven to the beach at Gyllyngvase that faces directly out to the open water of the Channel.

After a short drive, the dolphin was offloaded and the team, including Adele Morgan, Katherine Hewkin, Meg Hayward-Smith, James Walker, Maria Watson, Lizzie Upson, Jack Prout, Anna Moulin, Daisy Salmon and Madison Bowden-Parry and coordinated by Dave and Dan Jarvis, were able to give the dolphin further care, placing it on an airbed to relieve pressure and keeping it wet and cool by draping sheets over its body and keeping them wet.

Once it was ready to be released, the team carried the dolphin on a tarpaulin into the sea and over the surf line to release it.

Dan Jarvis, Welfare Development and Field Support Officer for the charity said: “Gyllyngvase faces straight out to the deep water and there are large groups that go there so releasing him there was the best chance of him getting back with a group.

“He was on an inflatable mattress when he was in the car, to make it more comfortable for him”.

After a period of stabilisation on the beach, the dolphin was successfully refloated and a day later has not been seen again. To ensure it would be recognised if it came back in the next few days, a light biodegradable tape was wrapped around its tailstock.  This does not affect the dolphin’s swimming abilities and will become detached and degrade in a week or so.

BDMLR would like to thank all the volunteers who attended the initial rescue and the refloat as well as members of the public and other organisations that assisted.

 

BDMLR continues to fundraise to cover the cost of rescues, equipment and operations.  If you would like to donate, please go to www.justgiving.com/bdmlr Thank you.